Sunderland have third and final bid for Leicester City striker Leonardo Ulloa rejected
By Mark Ashenden
Last Updated: 31/01/17 6:36pm
Sunderland have given up on Leonardo Ulloa after a third bid of £7.5m plus add-ons was rejected by Leicester City, according to Sky sources.
It is not an unexpected response from the Foxes having stated all along they wouldn't sell the forward to a Premier League rival, but it will be a huge blow for a player who on Monday announced on twitter he was striking.
He said he felt "betrayed" by manager Claudio Ranieri and then opened up to Sky Sports News HQ exclusively on Monday night about his sadness at not being allowed to leave.
The Argentine's representatives will now be scouring Europe for other potential buyers with Turkish side Galatasaray having been keen on the forward, although the structure of a deal and payments have not so far interested Leicester.
Sunderland had recent bids of £3m and £5m rising to £7m rejected and returned with an improved offer of £7.5m plus add-ons on the morning of Deadline Day.
Ulloa is desperate to move and arrived at the training ground on Tuesday morning for a 90-minute rehab work-out. It is understood he has a groin injury and will not be part of the squad travelling to Burnley for Tuesday's Premier League clash.
The striker, signed from Brighton for £8m in the summer of 2014, handed in a transfer request last week and Spanish side Alaves had an offer of £1.7m turned down.
He has started twice and scored once, at Stoke in December, in 18 appearances this season. His last game was the 2-1 FA Cup victory at Everton on January 7.
With Ranieri reluctant to offload Ulloa, the forward revealed his frustrations on the eve of Deadline Day on Monday night to SSNHQ reporter Rob Dorsett.
"I'm a bit sad about the current situation," he said. "It's been two wonderful years at the club but now, given my situation - not playing and not being part of the team's plans - I feel that the best way forward is I leave and I can be happy somewhere else.
With all respect for LCFC FANS.— Jose Leonardo Ulloa (@Ciclone1923) January 30, 2017
I feel betrayed by Ranieri and let down by the club. I will not play again for them...
"The manager has been telling me for the last three months and the last two weeks that if an offer of around £4-5m was arriving to the club, he will help me to leave.
"My understanding is that at this moment, there are offers around those figures or even bigger that are not being considered. After what Ranieri has been telling me for weeks, today he tells me that he wants me to stay."
Ulloa still has 18 months left on his deal at the King Power Stadium following his move from Brighton in July 2014.
He added: "I can't really understand the situation or why they don't let me continue playing my football somewhere else. If I stay at the club, it is going to seriously affect my career and my future.
"They know I am not going to be used. The best thing for both parties is they sell me to another club and I can continue playing my football somewhere else."